Thursday, November 8, 2007

What's the deal with the boxes?

To answer the question posed by Sally Hazel, here's the saga of the boxes. This is also a cautionary tale to the young and naive as to why you should never do anything nice for your mother-in-law. Unless, of course, you are my husband and you mil is my mom.

This all had started about a year ago when we went to Ikea. I will never forget that day because that's how this mess, which is still not over, has started. Walking in the isles, I had noticed the fake flowers of the unimaginable beauty and unspoken girth. They were very tall and quite voluminous in the petals department. Hubs and I immediately decided that those were the flowers for us. We had also found a nice vase to go with them. When my mother had seen these flowers in our house and liked them, we had decided to get them for her birthday.

Time had passed. We have been enjoying these polyethylene Smychka (who comes up with these names???) beauties and getting many compliments on them. Little did we know that trouble was just around the corner.

Some time a month ago hubs realized that his parents' 30th anniversary is coming this November. This called for a gift. Since my in-laws live on another continent, bless their hearts, getting them a gift is no easy feat, but we were determined. And then we both had an idea: why don't we send them the same flowers we and my parents have? You could almost make a case that it's a family tradition by now. And having Ikea in Israel, it should be a piece of cake to order them.

Except that I don't speak Hebrew, at all. (And somehow getting my in-laws an anniversary gift slowly shifted towards my list of responsibilities.) So I found the website and for about two hours pressed on every link to find these flowers. However, no appropriate vase was in site, I meant on the site. I even figured out how to put these things into an order basket, but couldn't go any further without understanding the text. The next step was to hunt down the Hebrew-speaking hubby to translate for me, pick out some vase and help me finish the order. That took about a week (no comment). When we finally got together to do this, I was in for another surprise. The script on the Ikea site was kind of weird and hubby had trouble reading it, which prompted the not so wise question, "Do you even speak Hebrew?" I think any reasonable person would understand it was a joke and not an attack on his abilities and manliness, right? When we finally placed the order, I breathed the sigh of relief and thought we were done.

Wrong! Next day I got an email saying that the minimum order for shipment is 10,000 shekels, which was about $2,000, which was about $1,925 more than I was willing to pay for the gift. They apologized for the invonvenience and said that they were looking to have our business in the future. Yeah, I can see that happening.

You know, sometimes you get hung up on the idea. When all your guts are telling you to abandon it, you keep on going after it time after time, simply because it is your idea and you want to see it through to the end. Do not ignore your guts, because the end could be yours. Hubby got so hung up on this particular idea for the gift, that we decided to go physically shop in Ikea (since neither American nor European sites would deliver the Smychkas for any kind of money) and then mail them to my in-laws. We got to Ikea, hubby painstakingly picked out the best 5 stems that looked the "freshest", and yes, I see the irony, I get it, the flowers are fake. We didn't find the vase to our initial disappointment. As of now, I can't thank Heaven enough for it, and soon you will see why.

Next Monday, I took the flowers with me because who else would be responsible for mailing these silly flowers to Israel, other than me? Who would be dumb enough to undertake this task? Now to the boxes. Since the flowers are long and we didn't want them arriving all wrinkled, we needed to find a long and somewhat wide box. I went to the post office and requested one. That's when I found out the ugly truth - boxes of this size are not permitted for international shipping, period. The max length is 36 inches, and the max girth is 79. The only thing that could fit was the document tube, which was not wide enough to fit all five stems, but at least it was long. So I brought one to the office and tried to put all the flowers into it, realizing that there's not way they would all get in there. I needed the second box. So the next day I went to the post office and got it. I didn't have time to pack the flowers that day, and left everything on my desk.

When I came in the next morning, the flowers and the boxes were gone. On the one hand, I was really upset, on the other hand, it meant the end of misery. That's when my co-worker asked me why I put my flowers into her vase. What????? Why would I do that? Okay, so the flowers were still there, someone just put them in a vase on the desk located pretty far from mine, and THREW OUT THE (fill in the blank) BOXES!!!! Now I had to find time to go to the post office, AGAIN! Needless to say, I was fuming for about an hour. I am over it now, but I hope for my sake and the sake of the person who threw out the boxes, I will never find out who had done that horrible, horrible thing.

For now, the stupid flowers are on my desk slightly annoying me every time I look in their direction. There's no way they will get to Israel on time for the anniversary, so there's no need to rush. I get a lot of compliments for them, which for some reason irritates me even more. Some day, when I regain my sanity and patience, I will mail them out. But for now I am entertaining the idea of selling them and saying that they got lost in the mail. Would it be too dishonest?


  1. you are a remarkable woman of valor. i tried to translate this story into my terms, and the body count is way higher than you would ever imagine.

  2. LOL, at least you would have the flowers for the In all honestly, I never thought I could get that mad over something so small, though understandably annoying. I don't think my co-workers had seen me this po'ed, and that includes the time when I was seriously thinking of quitting.

  3. I agree with Moish: you are remarkable!

  4. its not just the office part - its the whole affair from a to z. I would have done a scott peterson // charlie manson on every soul involved, honestly. you are a saint!
    barby, i say we apply to vatican to expedite the beautification for the SWife!

  5. Um, not so fast. I think you have to dead for that one... Anyway, I thought I've seen it all, but two (practicing) Jews asking for the beautification of another, that's gotta to be the first... Anyway, the saga is not over yet. Stay tuned for the updates, hopefully they won't come from the ten o'clock news...

  6. Definitely agree with Moish. If the flower-boxes scenario happened @ my work, I'd have an opportunity to demonstrate how one can kill with looks, words, and triplicate forms that polute the workplace!


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